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Stories by Merri: Friday || Day 1 and 2

Almost Bennett Hills Endurance Ride I & II
Photos by Merri Melde


Saturday - Day 1

Saturday - Day 1 (John Teeter)

Sunday - Day 2


Day 1 - 25 Miles
1. Zena Smith (JR) - Cresent
2. Jessica Cassens (JR) - Nikijta
3. Nora Cassens - Tezero's IKU
4. Sally Tarbet - Jassens Legacy Stone
5. Amanda Olson - Angel of Mercy
6. Janet Tipton - Lady Jasmine
7. Amy Weidner - Tiki Bar Sunrise
8. Tami Bromley - Ali Hadid
9. Dot Wiggins - JAC Charisma
10. Barbara McGann - Chancey VW
11. Yvonne Brandt - Promise
12. Pam Haynes - Dance Hall Tillie
Day 1 - 50 Miles
1. Beverly Gray - Amazing Ku
1. Pat Gisvold - Tezero's Khadesha
3. Jane Cunningham - Picadilly Gray
4. Naomi Preston - Karlady
5. Lee Pearce - Fire Mtn Malabar
6. Amanda Washington - PF Fast Eddy
7. Cindy Bradley - Bogar Tucker
8. Karen Bumgardner - Z Summer Thunder
9. Linda Ballard - SX Arianna EX
10. Jeff Hartford - Justapesty Stoney Boy
11. Karen Steenhof - Admiral Gil
12. Angela Thompson - Stretch
13. Steph Teeter - Jaziret Bey Music
14. John Teeter - Windjammer
15 - 
16 -
Day 2 - 25 Miles
1. Jessica Cassens (JR) - Nikitja
2. Lena Smith (JR) - Cresent 5
3. Nora Cassens - Tezero's IKO
4. Katelynn Keller - GAA Sable
5. Carrie Johnson - Bagheera
6. Michelle Unsworth - Morgan
7. Patricia Frahm - Halo
8. Sally Tarbet - Noble's Fullmoon Rebel
9. Cindy Bradley - Amari's Knight Moves
10. Janet Tipton - Ladybug
11. Tami Bromley - Ali Hadid
12. Bruce Worman - Big Sky Quinn
13. Nance Worman - Barbie
Carrie Thornburn - Jazzie - Completion
Day 2 - 50 Miles
1. Pat Gisvold - Tezero's Sundancer
1. Jane Cunningham - Picadilly Gray
3. Annerose Carlile - GAC Ginger
4. Lee Pearce - Fire Mtn Malabar
5. Steph Teeter - Jaziret Bay Music
6. Bette Grover - George
6. Bonnie Bolender - Kiantea
8. Linda Ballard - Blue Lightning
8. Karen Bumgardner - Z Summer Thunder

Saturday-Sunday June 27-8 2009

Almosta Bennett Hills Endurance Ride

Saturday Day 1

We had a pretty decent turnout for the Almosta Bennett Hills ride, formerly the Bennett Hills ride - 28 riders on day 1, 23 riders on day 2. And all but two of them finished!

Steph managed to include almost one big hill on day 1. The 50's set out from basecamp at 7 AM, while the LD riders hauled out 30 minutes to the vet check on Bachman Grade road to start. A few riders camped out there overnight and had a great time, "just like the old days."

Steph promised Rhett after he reached 4000 miles - which he did on Day 1 - she was going to start riding him slower. Today, she and John started out in last place! (John was riding one of Bev Gray's horses on his first 50). I was still gimping around with my mashed toe, so, being the weenie I am, I didn't ride but spent the day helping out a bit, riding the 4-wheeler a lot (only on roads!) and taking pictures.

It wasn't a ride to go fast anyway - there was a 10-mile climb up on loop 2 for the 50's and loop 1 for the 25's; and what goes up must come down, so, being and out-and-back trail, it was 10 miles back down to the vet check. Plenty of rock underfoot, so it was a good day to take your time and enjoy the scenery. It's still pretty green around here, and one hill was full of Sego Lilies - a trillium-like white or pink flower that I've never seen around here before.


Friday June 26 2009

Almosta Ride

Nothing like having an impromptu 2-day endurance ride - in your own back yard, with a week's notice!

Lynne White was scheduled to put on the 2-day Bennett Hills endurance ride in Gooding, Idaho this weekend. Last Friday - 1 week to go till the ride - she cancelled it. Problems with muddy basecamp and trails.

That same evening, Steph called Lynne and offered to put it on here in Owyhee.

"It's not like this is an altruistic ride... I want to ride!" Steph had been planning to go to the Bennett Hills ride for a while, and with it cancelled, she couldn't ride! So the only solution was to put it on herself. She spent the weekend and Monday scrambling to plan trails and get the permits, and she was out marking trail all week.

She wanted something different than our usual loops, but she had to consider the water situation - neighbors Carol and Rick who always put out all the water wouldn't be here this weekend. Steph scouted trail, studied google earth, marked trail, studied google earth. We could get water to the vet check on a truck, but out on trail, horses would have to cross the two running creeks to get their water.

We didn't expect a huge turnout, and Steph would have been happy enough if she and John were the only riders. "I just want to ride!"

Steve and Cindy Bradley showed up on Thursday. Steve's a photographer, and whatever else Steph drafts him to do - most often helping to flag trail. Cindy's been riding gangbusters since being sick the last 5 or 6 years - after finally being diagnosed and getting treatment, she's already ridden 760 miles this year! And I expect it's the endurance riding that's helped to heal her.

Lynne White was still the official ride manager, so she came to do the ride manager thing on Friday, while Steph got to vet in her horse and get ready for the Almosta Bennett Hills ride.


TWO POINT GPS - Karen Bumgardner

The ears are my two point gps system, high tech stuff right there!

It was the coolest old dug out, flat rocks laid in there horizontally to build a smooth solid wall. The poles over the top were supports for a sod roof. The dugout was near the banks of Hart Creek, and upstream was an awesome cave with a sign mostly covered with brush. I had to see what it said. It read "Oreana Savana". Not sure exactly what that meant. This was just one of the many sights at the Almosta Bennett Hills ride at Oreana.

The Bennett Hills ride was planned for the gooding area. To make a lon story short, it got rained out and John & Steph Teeter stepped in, offering trails and camp and much more just 5 days before the ride date. WOW!

I rode Thunder day 1 on the loop that left Oreana and climbed up to Toy Mtn. Sego lilies decorated the landscape along with a few left over Indian Paintbrush, Lupine, and Arrowleaf. It was a 50 mile loop - HOORAY!!! - with an out vet check and it was a wonderful reminder of the old days of endurance when you really had to ride coyote smart. I rode with my friend Linda and we had a blast! The horses had lots of creek crossings with good water. A bite of grass here and there. Even though it was the mid 80's the last few miles Thunder had to throw in some power spooks to be sure that I was still there and maybe I'd let him go faster? Not! We finished 8 and 9, snapping pictures of cool rock formations and scenic vistas along the way.

Sunday was day 2, I was going to ride spooky Thunder another day. Linda opted out on her mare but rode Blue on his second 50. He had spent all day Saturday having a fit in the corral in camp wondering why we had left him there. So he was a happy camper trotting down the trail Sunday after we got the first spook out of the way. We had a 25 mile loop that zigged and zagged over to Hart Creek and over little hills, rocks, sagebrush, through the creeks, past the homestead, and back to camp. After a vet check and an hour hold we were to repeat the loop in reverse. Only our hour hold was more like a hour and a half. it went something like this: Merri asks me, "Hey Karen aren't you guys going back out?" I answered "yup at 11:19." She said, "well you're late, it's 11:31!" Oh well, the extra time for the horses to eat and drink wasn't a waste as it was heating up and they'd need the energy. It heated right up to 95. and I think the water in my bottles was 120! But we finished and the horses were in great shape and hungry but then Thunder is always hungry. We were top 10 and "turtle" all at the same time too.

It was a great weekend and those that missed it really missed some good trail and that nice 50 mile loop! Classic endurance stuff there. I love it!!!!

Almost Bennett Hills Endurance Ride I & II

New Location: Oreana, Idaho (almost Gooding)
Camp will provide water for people and horses, hot showers, toilets, corrals (by request).
Potluck dinner and awards after each day. Vets: Olin Balch, Karen Balch, Robert Washington.

Driving Directions:

Day 1: June 27

Download (pdf) entry form

Download (pdf) map
View map as jpg

50 Miles: Start from Oreana basecamp at 7AM

25 Miles: Start from Browns Creek vetcheck at 9:30AM
Driving directions to Browns Creek vetcheck

Hay and water will be provided at Saturday's vetcheck.
Hotdogs served for lunch.

Day 2: June 28

Download (pdf) entry form

Download (pdf) map
View map as jpg

50 Miles: Start from Oreana basecamp at 7AM

25 Miles: Start from Oreana basecamp at 8AM

Driving Directions to Oreana basecamp
# From I-84 West (Oregon/Washington) Take Exit 35, south onto Nampa Blvd. (towards Nampa). Left on 3rd St, follow signs to Hwy 45 towards Murphy and Silver City. Right onto Hwy 45 (12th) to Dans Ferry (gas) and Snake River bridge (approx 15 miles). Go LEFT on Hwy 78 just after crossing Snake River. Stay on Hwy 78 approx. 23 miles. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road. Continue 5 miles to camp. Driving time from Nampa is about 1 hour.

# From I-84 East (Boise, Mountain Home) take Idaho Center exit (exit 38), left off ramp, left at traffic light on Flamingo Rd (towards shopping center) and then take Right onto Happy Valley Rd. Follow Happy Valley several miles, take right on Bowmont Rd, then left onto Hwy 45. Continue south to Snake River (see above) ORTake the Simco Rd exit off of I-84. Go south on Simco Rd until you get to the Mountain Home highway. Turn right onto highway. Follow to Grandview. Turn right past Grandview onto Hwy 78. Turn Left (south) onto paved road (Oreana Loop Rd) just past mile marker 43. Go 1.5 miles on pavement, turn right past trailer house onto gravel road, just before dumpsters, onto Bates Creek Rd. Go 5 miles to camp.

# From I-84 East (East Idaho,Utah/Wyoming) Take Exit 112 at Hammett. Follow signs to Hwy 78 West, towards Bruneau and Grandview. Continue west on 78 past Bruneau and Grandview (approx 50 miles), turn Left (south)onto - paved road, just past mile marker 43. Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.

# From Hwy 95 (Nevada, California): continue north from Winnemucca, turn right on Hwy 55, then right on Marsing/Murphy Rd, this becomes Hwy 78. Follow 78 east along the Snake River, past Murphy. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.

Driving directions to Browns Creek vetcheck
From Oreana basecamp: drive back out Bates Creek Rd to junction of Oreana Loop Rd. Turn RIGHT. Continue approx. 1 mile, turn RIGHT onto Triangle Rd (Bachman Grade Rd). Continue approx 8 , camp will be on the right just after you cross the Browns Creek overflow.
From Hwy 78: Turn south onto Oreana Loop Rd (as if heading to Oreana basecamp). Continue on this road for approx 2 miles, turn RIGHT onto Triangle Rd (Bachman Grade Rd). Continue approx 8 , camp will be on the right just after you cross the Browns Creek overflow.